The story goes like this: A lone prospector, Tecumseh Smith, found the spot,
panned gold in the creek. Folks called him Pony (he was slight and small)
and named the town Pony's Gulch and Pony's Creek. His camp disappeared by 1870.
In 1875, a man named George Moreland found a rich gold deposit
under a patch of wild strawberries, up in the hills outside of Tecumseh's place.
Pony became a town. Hard-rock gold mining thrived, and the 100-stamp mill
grew stone by stone, the ruin with the "no-trespassing" signs.
"I want to go there, "Maddy said.
"Let's climb over those rocks," said Mary.
Don't get me wrong -- any cop from Pony
must be lonely. But I stamped out
words I needed to: "We'd better not,"
and I distracted them with other sights:
Pony's town, Pony's school and bar.
* * * * * * * *
Frances McCue is a writer and poet living in Seattle where she is the writer-in-residence at the University of Washington's Undergraduate Honors Program. She was the founding director of Richard Hugo Home from 1996 to 2006. McCue is the author of The Stenographer's Breakfast, winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. "Not Named For A Horse" was published in The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs: Revisiting the Northwest Towns of Richard Hugo.